Skip to main content

Social Work in Disasters Training Modules Launch Event

In collaboration with The Open University and BASW England

BASW England are excited to announce the launch of a free online training course for social work in disasters. This training was developed alongside key partners within the BASW England Social Work in Disasters Working Group, including social workers with experience of working in disasters, and those they have supported. The training is informed by these experiences, and the impetus for starting this project arose from those social workers who had previously responded to disasters and described the lack of training available.

The development of the training course was also informed by a systematic literature review completed by the University of Stirling, available here, and the course materials were designed in collaboration with The Open University. The training also builds upon previous work of the BASW England working group, including guidance and learning outcomes for social work in disasters continuous professional development (CPD), available here

A pilot study of the training found that it was overwhelmingly positively received by social workers working in a range of contexts, including in relation to enhanced knowledge and self-confidence in working in disasters. You can find out more about the pilot study here.

This launch event will give an overview of how the modules were developed, the pilot training programme, and how to support employees using the training. It will include testimonials from social work leaders, frontline social workers, and people with lived experience of disasters.


Joe Hanley. Joe is a lecturer and researcher in social work with the Open University and has been involved in the BASW England Social Work in Disasters Working Group since 2018, leading on the continuing professional development (CPD) elements.

Lena Dominelli. Professor Lena Dominelli, PhD, AcSS, is a qualified social worker and holds a Chair in Social Work at the University of Stirling. She was previously Co-Director at the Institute of Hazards, Risk and Resilience (2010-2016) at Durham University. Lena currently chairs the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) Committee on Disaster Interventions, Climate Change and Sustainability and the Special Interest Group on Disaster Interventions for the British Association of Social Workers (BASW).

Edward Daffarn. Edward is a community campaigner and registered social worker. He was a survivor of the Grenfell Tower fire and before the fire was co-author of the Grenfell Action Blog documenting how residents on the Lancaster West Estate were being treated. Since the fire he has joined Grenfell United, a campaign group set up by survivors and bereaved families to campaign for justice and change to ensure a fire like Grenfell can never happen again. The group has led campaigns to make homes across the country safer and to put more power in the hands of social housing residents. 

Mariam Raja. Mariam is a qualified social worker and Senior Research Teaching Fellow at the University of Greenwich. 

Isabelle Trowler. With over 30 years’ experience in the children’s sector Isabelle took up her post as the government’s first Chief Social Worker for Children and Families in September 2013. Isabelle is well known for co-designing a practice framework for delivering child and family social work, which has had an enduring influence on the children's social care practice system across England.

Lyn Romeo. Lyn took up her post as Chief Social Worker for Adults in September 2013. Previously, Lyn worked as the Assistant Director for Adult Social Care in the London Borough of Camden. She has also worked as an inspector with the Social Services Inspectorate, as well as working in Yorkshire for over 20 years as both a field social worker and in a variety of management roles across children and adults.


12:00 - 12:10: Introduction

12:10 - 12:25: Endorsements 

12:25 - 12:35: Literature Review findings presented by Lena Dominelli

12:35 - 13:00: Overview of modules and pilot study by Joe Hanley

13:00 - 13:20: Q&A Session

13:20 - 13:30: Conclusion

We have two follow up engagement events planned, one for practitioners and one for employers/managers. Click the links below to find out more.

Employer Engagement Event - 3rd October 12:00 - 12:45

Practitioner Engagement Event - 3rd October 1:00 - 1:45 

BASW members who are unable to view a personalised message above are encouraged to log-in prior to booking for this event to ensure professional development is recorded within your membership record & to ensure you are able to attend for free.

Taster session available for non-members of BASW.* Non-members of BASW keen to learn more on the benefits of membership and receive updates on the valuable work we do are welcome to sign-up to our communication updates here. When you sign-up, you’ll automatically receive a registration code that can be used to waive the admin fee. 

*Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.